I just finished reading the book Recovering Redemption by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer. This book sets forth an insightful, fundamental perspective on the Gospel, illustrating how it transforms the most complex areas of our lives. It is not a new earth shattering, mind blowing concept that promises to completely revolutionize your life. It wasn’t intended to be a self-help guide with 12 simple steps to get your best life now. Rather it is a simple presentation of the heart changing power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with some thoughtful perspective on how the Gospel engages the realties of life itself. The message of Recovering Redemption is a needed reminder of a truth that so often gets lost in plain sight in the conglomeration that is American Christianity.
I particularly enjoyed the quick-witted humor of the authors because it grabbed my attention and kept me focused, making the book more enjoyable to read. I also love the way the book interrelated real life testimonies to give substance to the concepts the authors were trying to get across.
This book would be a great read for new believers or immature believers who are struggling with the particulars of the Gospel in action. I would also recommend it for mature believers as a reminder of the importance of the redemption story that transforms us and makes us more like Jesus. It may even be a good tool to give to an unbeliever to help them understand the basics of the Gospel message.
As with any book of this nature it does leave you with a sense of wanting more application, or at least more instruction on how to apply these principles to life. While Chandler and Snetzer did an excellent job at weaving real life examples in with the message, it still feels like it’s heavy on principles and light on practicality. Having reflected on this for awhile I have come to the conclusion that the reason I feel this way has less to do with how much practical advice is in the book and more to do with how much is being applied to my life. The authors admit in the Epilogue, “There’s no guidebook that tells you exactly what this needs to look like or what it needs to involve.” Once again, this isn’t the 12 steps to a better life book, rather it is a “gospel-saturated” perspective on the transforming power of Christ as we move from being broken, lost, helpless enemies of God to being redeemed, justified, and adopted children of God. The practical advice Recovering Redemption offers is a better understanding of the Gospel and more discernment when it comes to searching ourselves and identifying the things that get us off track in the process of sanctification (being freed from sin and becoming more like Christ); whether it be our attempts at trying to redeem ourselves, guilt and shame, fear and anxiety, or just the struggles of everyday life as a recovering sinner.
Overall I thought the message was excellent and I appreciated the reminder of the redemption story that is continually transforming my life.